Response from the Liverpool Echo to my formal complaint regarding incorrect information published in the Article on “What can a bouncer LEGALLY do to you in a confrontation?” Published in the Liverpool Echo on the 18th APRIL 2017
My Original Complaint to the Liverpool Echo on 19th April 2017
Received by email on 20th April 2017 @ 16:13
As promised, I am writing further in response to your email yesterday to Alastair Machray, Editor of the Liverpool Echo.
First, I would like to emphasise that neither the article you have questioned nor the original report featuring the video showing a drunken woman taking a swing at a doorman and then being hit in retaliation was an attack on doormen. We were certainly not, to use your words, “making these vital staff out to all be monsters”. We sought to be objective and informative and to let people make up their own minds about the actual incident. The comments on the articles show many of those who expressed a view have no sympathy for the woman and support the doorman.
The article about the legal rights of doormen was a genuine attempt to explain the law in simple terms. Although it carries two reporters’ names, it is essentially the work of one journalist. She drew on several online documents, including the Crown Prosecution Service’s guidance on self-defence and the prevention of crime and the British Standards Institution’s code of practice for door supervisors. She also spoke to the acting chair of the Merseyside Security Forum and checked everything with him ahead of publication.
I appreciate that putting complex issues in terms that are easily understood by people who are not experts or professionals can sometimes result in misunderstandings and I apologise if we have inadvertently got anything wrong, but it was certainly not our intention to mislead.
I appreciate too that you have a very detailed knowledge of the door supervision sector, but I would emphasise again that the key information in our article was verified by someone who like you has spent many years in the industry. Indeed, he called her after publication and told her he had no issues with the piece, except for the use of the word “bouncers”.
I am not in a position to respond to your comprehensive email point by point, but it is worth highlighting that the article stated the general position, which I do not believe is disputed, namely that there are constraints on the use of force, whether used by doormen or anyone else.
However, given your comments, I intend to have the following changes made to the section headed “What are bouncers not allowed to do?
Change the sentence which states bouncers are not entitled to engage in the use of force unless they are threatened with physical harm to: Doormen cannot use unreasonable force. They are allowed to use such force as is reasonable and proportionate in defence of themselves or others, to protect property; to prevent crime or to make a lawful arrest
Remove the line, Push or physically throw a person out of the establishment
Change the line “Restrain them in a choke-hold or other techniques to: Although there is no law preventing using a choke-hold or techniques like face down restraint, recommended best practice is to avoid these as there is a higher risk of harm
Thank you for raising this matter with us.
Regional Managing Editor
Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Ltd
Senior Managing Editor, Trinity Mirror Regionals